Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Are You Ready for Winter and Prepare

Phil 4:11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:
:12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Living in south Louisiana, our winters are usually pretty mild compared to the northern states. But sometimes we get snow, or a few days of ice. We don’t have the equipment to clear the roads or the chains for our tires because it is not something that happens often. We are not prepared to drive on icy roads or in heavy snow. All the more reason we need to be ready for winter. Everything comes to a stop when we have those conditions.
You can have winters in your spiritual life also. We need to be prepared for those also.  These times can leave us discouraged, lonely, and depressed.
Some things can make our spiritual winters very intense.
1.       The cold air of the world.

While going through trials we sometimes leave our guard down. That makes it easy for worldly influences to take over in our lives. Just like cold air finds cracks around windows and doors, worldy friends, music and thinking can find the cracks in our lives. We must use God’s Word to seal up the cracks.

Ps 119:11 Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

2.       Icicles of cold attitudes

During winter the dark, dreary days can cause us to develop icicle attitudes. We get cranky, complain about everyone and everything.

Sometimes during a trial we are the same way. We don’t fellowship to help encourage ourselves through our trial, no one wants to be around us anyway, right? No one else can fix our bad attitude, only we can. It’s not easy. The weight of ‘the ice’ is bearing down on us. Take a step back and remember who God is and who we are not.

Ps 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

3.       The blizzards of circumstances

Blizzards are devastating when they come. Circumstances in our lives can be also. Bills, sickness or death of a loved one, relationships, and many other things can weigh us down. We can’t see ahead. Remember God knows what is ahead. He’s the potter, we are the clay.

Job 23:10 But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.

4.       Jack frost of depression

Better bundle up because if you are going through a trial, depression is going to come nipping at you sooner or later. While we are in the midst of the trial, sometimes it is easy to just let it nip at us. There is no easy way out of depression. But keeping our lives lined up with God can help guard against it. Regular devotions and time with God each day can go a long way in dealing with it.

Ps 55:17 Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.

As Christians we need to prepare for winter, just as we need to prepare our homes for winter.

Winter Emergency Kit
1.       Non Perishable Food – Scripture

Memorize scripture so you have it when you need it.

2.       Extra blankets and warm clothing – fellowship

Spend time with other Christians. We need their love, support, and prayers.

3.       Drinking water – Christ the Living Water

We need Christ and His word to live. Drink in His love, promises, blessings, and strength.

4.       Emergency flashlights and candles – God’s guidance

God’s guidance is our light source. We need God’s guidance and leading daily. Stay sensitive to God’s leading and He will keep us going in the right direction and help us to see more clearly.

Amos 4:7 “I also withheld rain from you, when there were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, and where it did not rain the part withered.
:8 So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water, but they were not satisfied; yet you have not returned to Me,” says the Lord.
:9 “I blasted you with blight and mildew. When your gardens increased, your vineyards, your fig trees, and your olive trees, the locust devoured them; yet you have not returned to Me,” says the Lord.
:10 “I sent among you a plague after the manner of Egypt; your young men I killed with a sword, along with your captive horses; I made the stench of your camps come up into your nostrils; yet you have not returned to Me,” says the Lord.
:11 “I overthrew some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were3 like a firebrand plucked from the burning; yet you have not returned to Me,” says the Lord.
:12 “Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”
:13 For behold He who forms mountains, and creates the wind, who declares to man what his thought is, and makes the morning darkness, who treads the high places of the earth – the Lord God of hosts is His name.

The Word tells us that death is not the end of our existence. We are assured that everyone will stand before Christ, believers for their works, and nonbelievers for their rejection of Him.

Joh 5:25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.
:26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,
:27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.
:28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice
:29 and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

Rev 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
:13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
:14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death,
:15 and anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

We are all sinners in need of forgiveness. Only Christ’s death on the cross provides that for those who believe.

Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Bible says:

Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.

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